When you’re dispatching eBay and Amazon orders there’s a range of paperwork that you should include with your ecommerce orders, such as invoices, packing slips and customs forms for your international orders.
Invoices and packing slips for eBay and Amazon orders
Sending out invoices is an important part of dispatching your eBay and Amazon orders. This lets your customer know exactly what they’ve ordered and how much they have paid. An invoice can also include your logo, which will reinforce your branding, as well as a message to the customer thanking them for their order or informing them of upcoming offers.
If you’re VAT registered then you’ll need to send out a VAT invoice to your customers. Depending on the type of VAT invoice that you use (full VAT invoice, modified invoice for retail supplies over £250, or a simplified invoice for retail supplies and other supplies under £250) it will need to include the following details:
- Unique invoice number
- Your business name and address
- Your VAT number
- Date (not required for simplified invoice)
- The tax point (time of supply) if different from the invoice date
- Customer’s name and address
- Description of the goods/services
- Total amount excluding VAT (not for simplified invoice)
- Total amount of VAT (not required for simplified invoice)
- Price per item, excluding VAT (not required for simplified invoice)
- Quantity of each type of item (not required for simplified invoice)
- Any discounts per item (not required for simplified invoice)
- Rate of VAT charged per item - identify any items that are exempt or zero-rated
- Total amount including VAT (not required for full invoice)
Find out more about when and how to register for VAT here.
You can save time spent creating and sending VAT invoices by using shipping software that can automatically email VAT invoices to your customers. Through Zenstores you can send out VAT invoice emails for your eBay, Shopify, Magento and manual orders.
Find out more about VAT invoice emails here.
Job sheets for ecommerce orders
A job sheet (or picking list) is a list of all the orders and what products you need to include for each one. Using job sheets will enable you to be more organised and efficient when picking and packing orders, as well as reduce the number of mistakes. The job sheet will include all the orders that you’ve selected (orders from that day, orders from a particular channel etc), what products are needed for each one and how many, the shipping address and shipping details.
Using CN22 and CN23 forms
Selling internationally offers a great opportunity, but it’s not without additional complications to your shipping process.
When do you need to use a customs form?
To send orders to countries outside of the EU through Royal Mail you will need to use either a CN22 or a CN23 form. Orders worth up to £270 will need a signed and dated CN22 attached to the front of the parcel, and orders that are worth more than £270 will need a CN22 customs form.
The customs form requires a description of the goods inside, their value and whether they are a gift. As the sender, you’re responsible for the information on the form so it’s important that you fill it out accurately.
Any items sent internationally might be subject to customs charges and fees, which will differ between countries, and depend on the contents and the value.
You don’t need to attach either customs form if you’re sending to countries within the EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
However, you will need to use a customs form for these countries: Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark), Andorra, Canary Islands, Gibraltar, San Marino, Vatican City State and BFPO addresses.
How to use Royal Mail customs forms
You can find a PDF version of the CN22 and CN23 on Royal Mail’s website here - you can print this out, fill it in and attach it to your international parcels. You can also pick both forms up from a Post Office branch.
Alternatively, you can use shipping software like Zenstores to fill out and print off CN22 and CN23 customs forms at the same time as creating and printing your postage labels.
Using Zenstores to print invoices and paperwork
Invoices, job sheets and CN22/23 forms can all be created and printed through Zenstores, find out more about getting started with Zenstores here.